Late Monday night, a U.S. district judge in Brownsville issued a temporary injunction blocking President Obama's decision to shield about 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
In November Obama announced his plan to create a program called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans. It has not yet gone into effect, and 26 states, lead by Texas, sued to block it. Judge Andrew Hanen said in his opinion that allowing DAPA to get rolling before the states' lawsuit was heard would create an untenable situation were the courts to rule in favor of the states.
"Once these services are provided, there will be no effective way of putting the toothpaste back in the tube should Plaintiffs ultimately prevail on the merits," Hanen wrote.
In a late-night statement, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Justice Department would appeal the decision.
"The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws -- which is exactly what the president did when he announced commonsense policies to help fix our broken immigration system," he said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who filed the suit in December while still Texas attorney general, praised the ruling.
"President Obama abdicated his responsibility to uphold the United States Constitution when he attempted to circumvent the laws passed by Congress via executive fiat, and Judge Hanen's decision rightly stops the president's overreach in its tracks," Abbott said in a middle-of-the-night press release. "We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the president's attempt to bypass the will of the American people was successfully checked today."
Hanen was careful to point out that his ruling did not suspend another Obama initiative that allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as young children to stay and work in the U.S. without the fear of being deported.
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Hanen ordered a February 27 meeting between the feds and states to set the schedule for the full trial. Any appeals of the injunction would be heard by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.